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Welcome to the course

Over the next two weeks we will explore the impact of drug use.
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Welcome to Understanding Addiction. My name is Julie Bradshaw, and I’m an Associate Professor in Mental Health Nursing at Century Queensland Uni, and I’ll be your educator for this course. I’ve got a background in Mental Health Nursing, and I’ve worked for many, many years in community mental health, and many, many years in teaching mental health nursing, and drug misuse. And I first became interested in drug misuse when I was working in the community, and I saw many people with those issues. And later I became interested in it when I came work in the University, and saw that there was many myths around drug misuse.
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Over the next four weeks, we’ll explore the use and misuse of drugs and the complex problems that they cause. We’ll look at models of addiction, we’ll look at harm minimisation, and the impact of this upon the community. So I look forward to engaging with you throughout this course.

What will I learn?

The use and misuse of licit and illicit drugs is a serious and complex problem, leading to broad health, social and economic concerns including; increased risk of mortality, illness, disease and injury; social and family disruption; workplace problems; and violence, crime and community safety issues.

Over the next four weeks we will explore the impact of drug use, the reasons why individuals may use and misuse drugs, and evaluate strategies to minimise harm to the community and individuals.

Week one

This week you will meet the course author and introduce yourself to your fellow learners. After this we will look at recent trends in drug use nationally (in Australia) and internationally, while exploring related harms and impacts on the individual and the community.

Week two

In week two we will examine various definitions of addiction, uncovered some basic knowledge about the physiological and psychological aspects of addiction and explore the concept of tolerance and withdrawal.

Week three

In week three we will explore some of the dominant models and theories of addiction, including their consequences for prevention and treatment interventions.

Week four

In week four we are going to explore some well established, evidence-based harm-reduction interventions, plus a few that are still emerging.

Let’s get started!

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Understanding Addiction

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